Current Recruitment Trends: Sourcing Candidates and Marketing Services

How do recruiters find their highest-quality candidates? Which advertising options have the best response rates for recruiters? How do recruiters market their services? We have the answers in Top Echelon’s 2016-17 State of the Industry Report.

At the end of last year, Top Echelon conducted a survey of more than 5,000 recruiters nationwide to compile information, specifically recruiting trends. The survey gauged recruiters’ opinions regarding a wide range of topics and recruitment industry trends.

As discussed in our previous blog post regarding the latest trends in recruitment and selection, this is most definitely a candidates’ market. Once again, the results of Top Echelon’s survey attests to this fact, based upon the answers that recruiters submitted. This candidates’ market affects just about every aspect of a recruiter’s desk and business. What they do and how they do it are predicated upon it.

But back to our initial three questions. The reason we have the answers to these questions is that we asked recruiters these questions. A simple strategy, to be sure, but ultimately very effective. So without further adieu, let’s see what our recruiters had to say . . .

Current trends in recruitment for sourcing candidates

Our first question took a deep dive into the methods of sourcing candidates that work best for our respondents.

Question #1 – Where do you find your highest quality candidates?

Okay, one answer blew the others completely out of the water. That answer was “referrals” with 43.6% of the vote. Believe it or not, recruiter cold calling was second at 15.8%. (Sure, recruiters don’t like cold calling . . . but it works.)

We’ve already established the fact that it’s a candidates’ market. A candidates’ market is a great time to ask for candidate referrals! Let’s say you find a great passive candidate, but they’re not willing to make a move. You simply ask them who they know who might be willing to make a move. Maybe they’ll help you, and maybe they won’t. But all it takes is one name—the right name—and you’re making a placement.

Sourcing quality candidates is a number-one priority for recruiters in this current market. Did you notice that I didn’t say “sourcing candidates is a number-one priority”? That’s because recruiters don’t need just any ol’ candidates. They need the best, because their clients want the best!

Simply put, there are not enough quality candidates available to fill open positions. Sure, some industries are suffering from a lack of talent more than others. However, the problem is pervasive across just about all industries.

Report teaser: Soooo . . . where did LinkedIn rank in this particular survey question? Well, it wasn’t in the top two, we know that. What about the big job boards? Where did they rank? You can find out the answers to these questions and many more by downloading our State of the Industry Report. Because if you’re looking to have a banner year in 2017, you’ll need to know where to find the best candidates. (If you don’t already know, that is.)

New trends in recruitment regarding job advertisements

Well, we were wondering where LinkedIn and the job posting boards were. Now we’ll find out . . . but with a BIG caveat. What do I mean?

Question #2 – “Which of the following avenues gets the best response rate for advertising your jobs?”

The category of “Other” was the most popular response for this question at 32.2%. “Other” included Monster, CareerBuilder, Zip Recruiter, Dice, The Ladders, and others. LinkedIn was second with 26.7% of the vote.

Have you noticed the discrepancy in the responses of these two survey questions?

It is true that recruiters identified both the major job boards and LinkedIn as the advertising avenues that generated the “best response rate.” However, neither of those cracked the top two in terms of “highest quality candidates.” So in essence, quantity does NOT equal quality. Sure, those avenues generate plenty of responses from candidates. But are those candidates the types of candidates that recruiters can place? It would appear that the answer is “No”! (At least most of the time, anyway.)

That’s why it’s important for recruiters to calculate return on investment (ROI) on their advertising avenues. It’s not the number of responses generated that counts. It’s the number of placements made.

Report teaser: Recruiters disagree about a lot of things. One of those things is whether to use job posting to source candidates. The reason? The discrepancy mentioned above. More specifically, quality vs. quantity. There were quite a few recruiters who had some strong things to say about candidates who respond to job ads. You can see those things, plus other gems of recruiter wisdom, by downloading our State of the Industry Report. As you’ll see, recruiters say the darndest things.

New recruitment trends in marketing recruiting services

Figuring out how to do business development in recruitment can be one of the hardest parts of this profession. However, if it comes easy, there’s a good chance it won’t last. Mastering this difficult facet of recruiting can unlock the key to billing more every single year.

Question #3 – “What is your primary method of marketing your services?”

The telephone, the telephone, the telephone. Forget technology and social media. None of it can replace the telephone, even if it IS a smartphone. You still have to talk on it, right? (Well, you can also talk on it.)

Remember how “cold calling” was the second-most popular response to the survey question “Where do you find your highest quality candidates?” Hold that thought for a second, because “outbound marketing calls” finished second for this question.

Are these “outbound marketing calls” also “cold calls”? They absolutely are. So what does this mean? It means that success in the recruiting industry essentially boils down to what it has always boiled down to. It requires a person to call another person that they’ve spoken with before and asking them if they would be open to a new opportunity or are in need of top talent. So smile and dial.

So the next time somebody calls you “old school,” take it as a compliment, my friend. Everything old is new again!

Report teaser: So what about social media and recruiting on Facebook? Email marketing? Recruitment websites? Where did they shake out in all of this? Find out by downloading our State of the Industry Report. It has the answers, not just to these questions, but to others, as well. (But it doesn’t know where you misplaced your keys, so don’t ask.) Find out if how you market your services is how everybody else is marketing their services. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

A recap of these 3 current recruitment trends

So let’s recap (again), shall we?

  • Referrals are still the best way to source high-quality candidates.
  • Cold calling is still a great way to both source high-quality candidates AND market recruiting solutions to prospective clients.
  • Quantity definitely does not always equal quantity.

The recap is a rather easy one: the basics of recruiting success are essentially the same as they’ve always been. Sure, there might be more challenges, and those challenges might differ in nature than what recruiters have encountered in the past. However, what it takes to learn how to be a great recruiter and make placements is not much different. It takes recruiting skill, and bona fide recruiting skill is what makes a recruiter a real recruiter.

There is much more in the way of recruitment industry analysis in Top Echelon’s State of the Industry Report. Also included are the following:

  • Current trends in recruitment and selection, including why candidates turn down offers of employment
  • What stresses out recruiters the most and why
  • New trends in recruitment and selection, specifically the biggest complaints that clients have after candidates have been submitted
  • Recruitment forecasting for the rest of 2017
  • Recruiting industry statistics regarding hot industries and those industries that are the toughest in which to make placements

And of course, there’s always much more! You can download Top Echelon’s 2016-2017 State of the Recruiting Industry Report by clicking on the link below.

Download the 2016-2017 State of the Industry Report!

(Editor’s note: Top Echelon surveyed more than 5,000 independent recruiting agencies nationwide for this report, providing a snapshot of the recruitment agency industry. All information is based upon answers submitted by recruiters during the month of December 2016.)

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